With Rick Santorum leading the current charge, we are once again hearing choruses of “Don’t impose your values on me. I want to impose my values on you.” That sentiment is blatantly un-American.
Religious freedom means that each person may practice whatever his or her conscience dictates as long as it doesn’t violate the rights of others to do the same. Along the way, the elected representatives of the people have set some broad rules that all must obey so that society may have some order. Laws should be as value neutral as possible.
Before you get excited about what your neighbor is doing with his or her body, I would like for you to step outside some evening and look up. You will be seeing pretty much the same sky that was there a couple thousand years ago when Middle Easterners founded three of the world’s great religions. True, they didn’t see airplane lights or gleaming satellites, but the rest was there—and probably a little easier to see without modern pollution.
In those days, a man (or woman) could cover with his thumb any object he could see in the night sky. No wonder people then believed that this teensy planet was the center of the universe, and all the rest was of little consequence or concern to the Creator.
The books these ancients wrote were about what they could see—not about what God knew. They did not write about distant galaxies, planets or moons. They did not even write about penguins, kangaroos, rainforests, viruses or electricity. God knew about all those things. The ancient holy books are splendid expressions of faith and excellent foundations for the religions that have grown around them, but they are not the works of God.
If you want to see what God wrote, look at the night sky, or a drop of water under a microscope. Every time an animal goes extinct due to man’s greed, we are committing an offence against that creature’s creator. Every time someone kills or abuses another in the name of God, it is blasphemy. If you would protect your soul, protect that which the Creator made.
Genesis 1:28 says that God gave the world, animals and plants, to man to subdue and rule—not to destroy. Personally, I find that and many other sections to be a little self-serving, but nowhere does it say that man can rip the tops off mountains to scoop out the minerals within, nature be damned.
Meanwhile, what fundamentalists everywhere should remember is that men can print thousands of books that are exactly the same. God gave each person a mind that was exquisitely unique. Which do you suppose He would want us to respect more?